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Visions of Peace: Dreams of a New Way

After Medgar, Malcolm, and then Martin were killed, people realized there were forces in America that would keep Black people from achieving true freedom “by any means necessary.”

When the Black Panther Party started to feed children at no cost, opened free health clinics, engaged in free public education, and tried to prevent the police from brutalizing innocent people, the government agencies began their attacks.  At this point people throughout the world – whoever was healthy enough in mind, body, and spirit – came to stand with them in droves, so fiercely and loudly that it became clear to the secretive agencies that their cover was about to be blown wide open and irreparably, so they went back to their hiding places to wait for a more opportune moment to involve themselves.

When drugs and guns start flooding Black urban America, the people of the world again sent representatives to all those places, joining with those already speaking out.  The people said, “No!  Don’t take those drugs to kill yourself, don’t take those guns to kill each other.  There are forces trying to ruin you.  They’re trying to kill your Spirits, to change your memories of who you are.  They’re trying to prevent you from ever healing.”  And they dug in their heels to prevent the ongoing genocide.

They said, “All the evil things they said to you were lies.  You are beautiful.  Your hair is beautiful, your styles are beautiful, your faces are beautiful, all your shades are beautiful, your lips and eyes and noses are gorgeous.  Your culture is beautiful, your ways of speaking and being are beautiful.  Everything they said was a lie!”

The people said loudly, “When they called you stupid, they were lying.  When they said you were inferior and animals – they lied.  When they called you ‘less than’ and ugly they were lying through their teeth.  You are beautiful and profound people.  It’s obvious!  Whoever can’t see it is too unhealthy; they lie to make others sick as well.”

The people of the world stood there and said, “The things they did to you were wrong.  The kidnapping, the shackles, the degradation, the chains, the beatings, the sexual abuse, the forced breeding, the rapes, the stealing of your children, the brutality, the loss and longing between men and women, the humiliation, the hunting you down, the trying to break you, the controlling, the lying, the calling you out of your name, the stealing of the bread of your hands, the terrorizing, the inability to escape, the starvation, the constant suffering, the pretending to be better, all these things were wrong.  All these things were immoral.  You did not deserve any of it.  You deserved love and respect.  You deserved to be honored and treated with dignity.  You deserved equality, kindness, love, compassion.  You deserved true friends and safety.  All these things that were done were wrong.  The stain is not on you.”

And the people of the world said these things in word and deed throughout America until the despair began to wash out of Black people’s hearts and minds, until their visions cleared, until the memories they carried were not just of nightmares and cages with no way out, or cold indifference, not just of shackles and hatred and violence, but began to be replaced with something new.  They found true friends willing to stand with them to make sure the trauma abated, to make sure they knew they would never be alone again.

No more would the world stand back and watch while people struggled to their hands and knees after having survived unprecedented and nearly-crushing attacks.  No more would the world’s people busy themselves contentedly acquiring money and status, looking down on those from whom everything was stolen, wondering why they couldn’t catch up. No more would the world stand back to coldly observe what would happen to these people now.  No more.  All those who were healthy enough in mind, body, and spirit made sure of that.

***

The work was not easy.  At times an almost blind rage would erupt from people as they let go of pain, lashing out in whatever direction their gaze happened to land.  At times there were betrayals, at times great loss.  There was no money in it, and little acclaim.  There was repression, the world’s misunderstanding, and obstacles that tried to stop them over and over.  But it had become clear that, if this work was neglected, the sickness would spread exponentially and from generation to generation.  It became clear that those healthy enough to do the work had to simply withstand, and walk through the storm of the emotional pain until it cleared from people’s lives.  They had to be true friends in a world where that very thing was so hard to find, to believe in the people without waver.

***

After Japan’s defeat in World War II, when Japanese people awoke from the mind control and thought police way of life, they realized that they had brutalized nearly all of Asia.

Those Japanese people healthy enough in mind, body, and spirit joined with other world representatives to travel throughout the affected Asian countries.  Each village, each town, each city that had been subjected to the ferocious brutality of the Japanese imperial military was visited one after one.  It took a long time, but it wasn’t too much for the soldiers to do, so it wasn’t too much for the people to do either, and they made the sacrifice.

To each woman who had been raped by countless Japanese soldiers, to each family whose lives had been deeply wounded, to each railroad that war captives were forced to build, to each place marred by sickening violence and cold eyes, these Japanese people went and offered deeply profound heartfelt apologies, bowing deep and long, shedding tears, and listening to the pain that the people had suffered.  The people of the world joined them, playing their own role.

Those Japanese people who made these long journeys knew that Japan tried to take over Asia because of a belief in their superiority.  Economic wealth would not save Japan now.  Viewing themselves as victims of an atomic attack while avoiding responsibility for the countless atrocities would not save the Japanese Soul now.

Instead of focusing on making money and working themselves into exhaustion – only to become the most-indebted nation in the world – Japanese people made a different choice.  It involved soul searching instead of saving face.  It involved stepping out of rhythm with the ruling class that led them so astray in order to find a way to live truly-fulfilling lives.  It involved Soul, integrity, genuine humility, and a deep desire to contribute to humanity.  For these things, these people were deeply honored.

***

After the Holocaust, the world’s people who were healthy enough gathered and made sure to wash away this pain thoroughly, patiently.  Throughout lands they met with Jewish people and spoke for a long, long time, listening for even longer.  They listened as Jewish people described how it felt to have the world turn their backs on them just as the killings started.  They spoke of the nightmare of feeling hated by the entire world.  Of feeling alone.  They spoke of a brutality they could not have imagined.

The world’s representatives spoke and acted until, one after one, the Jewish people’s minds and hearts began to clear, until visions of backs against the wall and repeated victimization stopped clouding their eyes.  They were not alone.  They were not despised.

People put in the time and energy to wash away this pain, instead of giving Jewish people guns and tanks and deeds to Palestinian land so they could try to fight away their pain and memories.  The world did not stand back and let harm pile upon harm while ceremoniously averting their gaze, and then criticize both sides with the utmost hypocrisy.  No.  They worked hard to stop the sickness from spiraling into the pain of untold generations.

Instead of leaving the Jewish people to alone say “Never Again” until their hearts grew cold, the compassionate people of the world said it with them so loudly that its truth was evident, and there was little need to say it anymore.  Never again would they be made to feel alone and hated.  Never again would people stand back and do nothing.  That deepest of pain – of a world lost in coldness while pretending to be fine – had faded away.  There were people who would always come to help each another in their time of deepest need, arms outstretched, willing to put in the time, wanting the pain to end, from all over the world.

***

As more and more people healed from the pain of trauma and cold aftermaths, as more and more minds cleared of the visions of deep night descending, of backs against the wall, of cold eyes watching, of a self-interested humanity and no chance for real change, as these visions cleared, a new way to address war and colonization grew and grew.  Not each war could be stopped, but the aftermaths could be attended to clearly and strongly each time.  The traumas didn’t need to go on forever, unaddressed and seething.

No more did people have to wonder, ‘why should I fight for a world that turned its back on me?  Why fight for people who would never fight for me?’  It was no longer the case.  Sickness stopped spreading so rapidly, and more and more people became healthy enough to participate themselves.  The tide could begin to turn.

No one waited for governments or armies or politicians.  People built humanity themselves, addressing needs with urgency.  They knew what was at stake.

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